The “school-to-prison pipeline” describes the unfortunate trend of kids graduating not out of school, but rather into the criminal justice system. The pipeline effect is especially evident where large segments of the population are racially, economically and/or socially segregated, and where poverty, abuse and neglect are rampant. To put it bluntly, statistics show that nonwhite and disadvantaged…

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By Christopher Zoukis In its waning days, Obama administration officials announced plans to expand education efforts in federal prisons and to provide more direction and oversight to the programs previously run separately at each facility. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced in late November 2016 that for the first time, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP)…

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  In its waning days, Obama administration officials announced plans to expand education efforts in federal prisons and to provide more direction and oversight to the programs previously run separately at each facility. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced in late November that for the first time, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) had hired an…

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By Christopher Zoukis

In an effort to stem the school-to-prison pipeline and to keep kids in school, the Choice Bus was rolled out to help students understand their options in life, and how their decisions can affect their futures.

The Choice Bus is an initiative of the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, a national nonprofit created in 2007 to help educators, community leaders and other interested groups reduce the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. Dr. Shelley Stewart named the foundation in honor of his mother, whose murder he witnessed at the hands of his father at the age of five. The tragic incident put him at risk of poverty, homelessness and dropping out of school. Had it not been for a passionate teacher, Stewart’s life may have gone in a different direction. Instead, education made all the difference in his life.

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By Christopher Zoukis It’s easy to think only of the crimes committed when words like “offender,” “incarceration” or “prisoner” come up. But we should remember that many offenders in our system of incarceration will be released each year, hoping to become functioning and productive members of society. With support and rehabilitation, these individuals can become…

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By Christopher Zoukis The Obama administration has taken more steps to improve an atmosphere of fairness and equity and to support a climate of achievement for public school students. New materials to be used as tools by educators were released in September as part of continuing effort to urge schools to abandon controversial, harsh “zero-tolerance”…

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Community members can provide valuable links to the outside world, a support system during and after incarceration, and assist in delivering much-needed resources like education to help with successful re-entry. By Christopher Zoukis Twenty-five percent of the world’s prison population is located in the United States, and most — 95 percent — of those incarcerated…

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